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Google, Lighting Science partner on Android-powered LED bulb

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Internet giant Google and LED manufacturer Lighting Science Group on Tuesday revealed that they have partnered to develop an LED light bulb that can be controlled from an Android-powered smartphone. The Florida-based lighting firm calls it "intelligent LED lighting," and announced it with Google during the company's keynote presentation at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco.

The first product, a 60-watt equivalent bulb, is a combination of Lighting Science's knowledge of light geometry and Google's connected software know-how.

An Internet-connected LED bulb? Yes, and here's why: with a little help from your home's Wi-Fi network, you can dim or turn off lights remotely — or to program them to do so.

Better still, the LED bulbs can leverage your smartphone's GPS and proximity sensors, turning on lights when you walk into a room with the phone in your pocket.

Google has always occupied the home area network space, but this is the first time it has addressed a specific appliance in the home. (If you're an avid reader of SmartPlanet, you'll know that the "Internet of Things" — from cars to water heaters to toasters to yes, light bulbs — is just around the corner.)

It's not just a consumer play, but a commercial one, too. Networked lighting companies such as Adura, Lumenergi, Redwood Systems and others — Google rival Microsoft's focus on commercial building management comes to mind — deal primarily with office buildings and datacenters; this announcement hints at similar applications.

The companies say the product will arrive in retail stores this fall.


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